You have to care about what you say.

You have to care about what you say.

But you don’t need to be vulnerable. Or share your secrets. Or talk about your private life.

In fact, Steve Jobs tells a great story on teamwork. And it’s not personal or vulnerable at all. 

But most people don’t tell great stories.

They skip over the best parts. They summarize the best details.

They speak from the head, not the heart. They tell the facts instead of reliving the moment.

There is a wall between what actually happened . . . and what they’re willing to share.

And that wall ruins their story.

Ultraspeaking is the place to study this wall.

It’s a space to practice getting closer to your content. Because, the closer you get, the more connected you feel.

And the more connected YOU feel, the more connected WE feel to you and what you’re sharing.

And isn’t that what speaking is really about?

Meet Ultraspeaking’s 9 Founding Coaches

5 years ago, we (Michael & Tristan) took on the craziest project of our lives, making it to the finals of the World Championship of Public Speaking with no prior training.

In the 4 years that followed, we gradually uncovered what would become known as the Ultraspeaking method —  arguably the quickest and most effective way to learn to speak effortlessly in any scenario.

In 2020, we started training our best students to become coaches. They went through pain-staking bootcamps with us, fine-tuning every detail of what it takes to lead a student to transformation.

Today, we’d like to single out the 9 founding coaches who paved the groundwork for Ultraspeaking’s courses and curriculum. 

If you’ve been lucky enough to get coached by one of them, you know how incredibly talented and skilled these individuals are.

Meet Ultraspeaking's 9 Founding Coaches

Mark Bossert

Mark is an elite coach who is passionate about the science of high-performance and the art of NLP. We love his ability to tell stories and make people feel. His coaching, just like his speaking . . . speaks for itself: How Ultraspeaking changed my life

Benjamin Lee

Benjamin is a human powerhouse. He takes training to the next level, both in fitness and in speaking. He was the first person to do 50 rapid-fire analogies in a row, which was completely insane at the time.

Ben brings his experience as a preacher and podcaster to help people thrive in their prepared (and unprepared) speaking.

Shelley Goldstein

Shelley spearheaded Beyond Fundamentals – the advanced course on Ultraspeaking. She is an expert in marketing, sales, and communication in the professional world. Shelley’s specialty is helping you level up your pitches, interviews, and presentations at work.

Santosh Yadav

Santosh is a storytelling expert and co-lead coach of Beyond Fundamentals. His quarterly storytelling workshops are the most popular seminars at Ultraspeaking. Santosh has a talent for giving direct feedback in a beautiful way.

Sudhan Raju

Sudhan is a natural improviser and knows how to unlock a person’s confidence and creativity on-the-fly. His quarterly workshops on Effortless Speaking teach you how to use energy and musicality to make your speaking come alive.

Ken Fontenot

Ken is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, former school teacher, and pastor. His speaking skills are only rivaled by his coaching acumen. Ken has a gift for teaching people to unlock their self-confidence through speaking and storytelling.

Aman Chopra

Aman, aka “the chopster” is the type of guy you’d want as your coach and your best man. He is upbeat with an indomitable spirit. His specialty is charisma . . . and knowing how to make people feel naturally engaging on (and off) camera. 

Pim Ruhe

Pim is a lead coach at Ultraspeaking Fundamentals and the definition of a remarkable human. Talk to him and you’ll sense the good vibes right away. Get coached by him and you’ll feel the difference. Pim has a passion for deep exploration. His specialty is helping people overcome shyness and anxiety in order to thrive in all speaking situations.

Alienor Hunter

Alienor sees what most people miss. She has a way of knowing exactly what people need to level up their speaking. Alienor is a lead coach at Ultraspeaking Fundamentals and will give you the precise piece of feedback you need at every step of your journey. Her specialties include confidence, overcoming anxiety, and enjoying speaking.

 If you’re interested in one-on-one coaching to prepare for an event or level up your speaking:

What is musicality?

What is musicality?

It’s not vocal variety. It’s not the pace of your speech nor the tone of your voice. These are consequences of musicality, but they are not the root.

The root of musicality lies deeper. It’s easy to miss and hard to imitate. You can only discover it for yourself. But when you do find it, something magical happens: you experience the very essence of being alive.

Musicality is a contrast of feelings.

Think about music for a second. There are slow parts and fast parts; quiet parts and loud parts. There’s contrast. Ups and downs. Shifts and swings. 

Contrast is what makes great stories. There’s variety. There’s complexity. There’s conflict. Characters laugh, cry, scream — and we can’t help but feel the realness in their emotion.

That’s because emotions are naturally relatable. We all cried as babies. We all had embarrassing days at school. Friendships came and went. Love visited and heartbreak followed. At times we hated our life. Other times we felt lucky to be alive.

We may not always feel the same things. But all of us feel something. Feeling is at the heart of human connection. But when it comes to speaking, sometimes, that connection is broken. Why? Because the feeling is nowhere to be found.

Why do so many people speak without feeling?

Human beings are creatures of feeling, but they don’t always show it while speaking. Why? Maybe they don’t care cre about what they’re saying. Or maybe they do care, but they’re scared of showing it.

That’s valid. When you allow emotion to take over, you may lose control. And sometimes that can be costly. Maybe one time you went too far and said something you didn’t mean. Maybe it blew up in your face and left you feeling exposed, embarrassed, or ashamed of yourself. 

As a result, you may have subconsciously started to control things more — to the point where you decided to play it safer in speaking. And in doing so, you may have accidentally narrowed your range, constrained your expression and reduced your speaking to a fraction of its potential. 

So how do you reverse the process?

How do you regain your speaking potential without exposing yourself to unnecessary risk? You practice expressing your emotions in a safe space.  That way, when you’re under pressure, you’re not experiencing a flood of emotion for the first time. You’ve learned to ride it, re-direct it, and harness it to your advantage. 

This is what Ultraspeaking is about. You train letting go. You notice when you’ve gone too far. You practice reigning back in. You feel silly, awkward, and (maybe even) uncomfortable — until one time it finally clicks and you discover that perfect harmony between being in your head and being in the moment.

That’s mastery. The ability to surf between thinking and feeling. The ability to stay in complete control while entirely letting go. When you experience it, you feel alive, at ease, and inflow. You perform at your best, and you don’t even know how you did it.

“Artistic creation, sports, dance, teaching, counseling — mastery in any field of endeavor implies the thinking mind is either no longer involved at all or at least is taking second place. A power and intelligence greater than you and yet one with you in essence takes over. There is no decision-making process anymore.” – Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks

Ultraspeaking exists to give you the space to explore greater self-expression. Your coaches support you. Your classmates want you to succeed. Everyone here is rooting for you. 

So, don’t hold back. Experiment. Try. Go beyond comfort. Feel around the edges of awkwardness. Learn something new about yourself. I don’t know what you’ll discover, but in all my experience so far, the one thing I can say with certainty is this: the more you let go, the easier speaking becomes. 

Breathing stops rambling

Often when speaking we feel a sense of hurry.  We get lost in the details and lose sight of the bigger picture. This can cause us to worry — and instead of taking a moment to pause — we feel anxious and speed up. The result leads to rambling.

Here’s how to solve this:

Every time you catch yourself worrying or feeling lost — stop speaking!

To practice:

1. When someone asks you a question, pause before answering.

2. When you suspect you might be rambling: take a breath.

The magic is in the out-breath.

When you take a breath there are two phases: in and out.

Out is the key to it all.

Notice the moment right after the out breath. For just a second, put every fiber of your focus onto your body. Feel your shoulders drop. Observe your energy relax.

By connecting with your body, you disconnect from the mind. Your brain resets. The rambling stops. The fog clears and the road emerges. You can see where you’re going again.

That’s because clarity comes from silence. And although silence doesn’t feel comfortable at first, it will with practice. The more time you spend in it, the more familiar it will become.

. . . 

(the Snowglobe game is a great way to train your pausing)

When you breathe, your listeners relax

The breath is a reminder to ground ourselves before continuing to speak. In the breath, we ask important questions to spark new ideas:

  • What do I really wanna say here?
  • What’s important about what I’m saying?
  • How can I go even deeper?

Our breath serves as a checkpoint. A rest stop. A place to pull over and ask for directions.

The breath settles our mental snow globe.

Breathing gives us a chance to connect with the landscape beyond the snow. The longer we pause, the clearer the image becomes.

Despite these discoveries, many people find the breath uncomfortable. Or unfamiliar. Or simply difficult to do in the moment.

That’s OK. It takes time for a behavior to become a habit. What’s key is awareness. Awareness that the breath is available to you at any moment. Rambling, stumbling, and blanking are all reminders to breathe. 

When you breathe, your listeners relax.

People feel better when you breathe. You show them there’s no hurry. They see that you’re in control. They get to sit back and enjoy the extra time to digest the moment. They appreciate you putting care into what you want to say next. They respond by listening with care.

Breathing is fundamental to speaking.

Breathing relaxes us. It grounds us. It gives us space to respond instead of react. And in that space, we discover a new dimension to our speaking.

This week, breathe deeply and breathe often. Don’t wait for a timer. Explore the silence. Connect with your core and discover what lies beyond. 

People who pause appear more thoughtful and confident.

That’s because only confident people tend to carry an energy of “un-hurriedness.”

They don’t hurry because they don’t feel rushed — because they have developed the confidence to take their time under pressure.

It takes confidence to stop speaking.

When we are put on the spot, our nervous energy tends to make us rush through our speaking.

So, when you pause, you give off the opposite impression – a sense of being calm, collected, and in control.

Learning to be comfortable with pauses is the fastest way to look (and feel) more confident. And it’s fundamental to how you perform under pressure.

Pausing is a gift to your listeners.

Pausing allows your audience an opportunity to relax, connect with you, and find meaning in what you’re saying.

Picture a snow globe. When you’re speaking, you’re shaking up the snow globe. The more you speak, the more chaotic the snowstorm.

The audience needs time for the snow to settle.

But every time you stop speaking, the snowstorm calms. The snow settles and a clear landscape begins to emerge from behind.

That’s what happens when you pause. Yours words settle and a deeper meaning begins to emerge.

That’s why the longer you pause, the more important your words become.

Pausing is truly the most powerful tool in speaking.

Musicality is about energy

Similar to great music, great speaking involves both slow and fast parts; quiet and loud sections; funny and serious moments.

The key is in the contrast.

The more you contrast your speed, volume, energy, and intensity, the more dynamic and engaging your speaking will be.

When energy leads, emotions follow, and words fill in the blank.

Just like our mood dictates our behavior, our energy dictates our speaking.

Think about the last time you got overly excited in a conversation.

Did you have trouble getting the words out? Or did they just flow out of you?

When you lead with energy, the words come effortlessly.

When you lead with energy, the words come effortlessly

When we allow ourselves to get angry, excited, passionate, melancholic or pensive . . . the words simply come in the moment.

That’s why the more you feel, the easier speaking becomes

Energy is a portal to new ideas

You know that person who always has something interesting to say?

It’s like they have a portal into original ideas, new thoughts, and an unlimited bank of memories. How do we create these portals for ourselves? Simple. We change energy levels.

Use energy as a portal into new ideas.

Picture each level of energy as a portal into exclusive original content.

Higher levels of energy are portals into fun, vivid, and exciting content.

Lower levels of energy are portals into deep, thoughtful, and meaningful content. And perhaps the most important portal is often the one we use the least: silence.

When you learn to enter different energies on command, you instantly gain access to new portals of creativity and inspiration.

That’s why those who master this skill never seem to run out of things to say.

We tried public speaking in a sauna

Sounds like the beginning of a joke, but oh no.
We put Michael and Tristan to the test, increasing the pressure with every passing second.

They took Ultraspeaking’s game Triple Step and turned the dial ALL the way up the number of words gets longer and the time gets shorter.

Who can outlast the other?
Who will use the ice cube they were offered to keep going?
Who will take home the ultimate bragging rights?

This is HIGH PRESSURE (and high HEAT) competition!

Ultraspeaker vs. Ultraspeaker

This is what happens when two public speaking coaches walk into a sauna!

Watch to find out what happens!

Principles of Ultraspeaking

In Episode 2 of The Ultraspeaking Podcast (Apple | Spotify | Youtube) Tristan and I dive into the essential principles of Ultraspeaking.

In Episode 2 of The Ultras

These principles contain strategies to handle pressure, recover swiftly, and find flow in speaking.

Here’s a brief recap to take with you into the new year:

Principle #1: Speak Before You Think

When you wait too long, doubt will creep in. So trust your gut and start speaking.

As a famous improv teacher once noted: “Don’t wait for great ideas. Trust your first idea and make it great.”

Principle #2: Choose One Thing

What’s the one idea you want to be tattooed into people’s brain? That’s your One Thing. 

Navigating speaking gets easier when you have a north star to follow.

Principle #3: Breathe

Getting lost is a natural part of speaking. When in doubt, breathe. 

What was your One Thing again? Use the breath to reconnect to what matters most.

Principle #4: Feel What You Say

People don’t listen to words as much as they feel energy and intent.

Be sure to care deeply about what you say. That way, others will too.

Principle #5: End Strong

Doubt creeps in toward the end of speaking. Pay it no mind.

Imagine There’s No Free Will

According to Sam Harris, American neuroscientist and author of Free Willthis means two things:

1. You don’t know what thought you are going to think next
2. You don’t know why you think the thoughts you think

Essentially, this means that you have no control over what goes on in your brain. You may think you do. In fact, the thought may have crossed your mind that said “No way. I don’t agree with this.”

Right, but how did that thought originate?

And what if another reader had a different thought, like “Wow, I’m intrigued.” And another reader: “Whoa, this is trippy.” Where do these thoughts come from? And how can three different people react to an idea in three different ways?

In The Mind is Flat, by Nick Chater, the author argues that our mind works like a mysterious black box. We don’t really know what goes on inside it . . . all we see are the outputs.

The outputs are the thoughts we become conscious of. For example, “I’m hungry.”

If we try to investigate “why did I think ‘I’m hungry’” — we could arrive at a series of logical conclusions:

  • It’s dinner time.
  • My body hasn’t had food in 5 hours.
  • I saw a commercial for hamburgers.

We become satisfied by this explanation and assume that the “I’m hungry” thought is a perfectly reasonable, well-explained phenomenon. But it’s not that simple.

Instead, the line of thinking we used to justify our thought — was an example of improvised reasoning. We don’t actually know what happened in the mysterious black box of our minds, but we’ve gotten very good at creating a story around it.

In fact, the Chater’s entire premise is this:

Our mind is an improvisational machine that rapidly makes meaning on the fly.

A thought occurs. We don’t know why, but our mind is already busy making up reasons for it.

What does this imply? A few things:

  1. Don’t believe everything your mind tells you.
  2. There is no “right” thought. (In fact, Adyashanti even says “there’s no such thing as a true thought.”)
  3. Our thoughts don’t belong to us.

This last idea is particularly interesting to me. 

Our thoughts don’t belong to us.

Despite all the advances in neuroscience, psychology, and beyond — we still don’t understand why the mind thinks what it thinks. And that’s why, according to Sam Harris, we don’t have free will. We aren’t the ones who decide what thoughts to think. We just experience them and their consequences.

And this idea brings great freedom.

Freedom from negative thinking

It’s freeing to know that your negative thinking doesn’t define you:

  • Being nervous about a presentation
  • Imagining yourself blanking, freezing, stumbling
  • Worrying about failure

These thoughts occur at random. They pop up in your head unannounced. If you don’t get to choose them, you don’t need to believe them.

Freedom from coming up with ideas

It’s time to change your relationship with thinking altogether. It’s not a process you control. It’s a process you observe.

Don’t struggle to think of good ideas. Just observe. Listen to your brain at a distance. Watch the thoughts pass. Then, jump onto the one that feels worth exploring.

That’s what speaking is. 

An improvised exploration of thought. A spontaneous, unpredictable process.

At first, it’s scary. So you grip the steering wheel tightly. You monitor mirrors, change lanes constantly, and look for potholes, signs, and shortcuts.

But one day you discover the brain’s self-driving feature. You switch it on and slowly release your grip. At some point, you relax and shift to the passenger seat. Eventually, you lean back, put your feet up, and enjoy the ride.

Of course . . . it’s still the same ride . . . but somehow the journey became more enjoyable the moment you stopped controlling it.

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